As part of our web development service, we can offer domain management and hosting to our clients. These two functions are often conflated, particularly by vendors selling hosting and email services. They are however distinct and you do not have to use the same company for both services.

What is a domain?

A domain name such as acts as an easy to remember address to a location on the internet – in this case our website. Domain names must be unique, so there is a register of domain names for each top level domain (TLD) – e.g .com or .uk. The two organisations of relevance to domain registration in the UK are:

  • ICANN which coordinates and supports organisations across the world who manage the registers.
  • Nominet which manages the register of .uk domains.

You buy a domain name from a registrar. The process will include checks to ensure no one else has registered the name and will add the domain and your information as owner to the register. Domains are sold by the year and you can buy for anything up to 10 years. You have the right to renew your domain and can do this any time up to expiry (and possibly for a short time beyond depending on your registrar). If you do not renew, your domain will be removed from the register after three months and can be purchased by someone else.

Companies such as ourselves can act as resellers. We are registered with a registrar and use their management tools but act as an intermediary for purchasing and managing domains.

This page on the ICANN website has a number of videos explaining domains and domain registration.

Choosing a registrar home page showing TLD domains and offers.  Nepeta use for domain management front page with offers on new domains

Most registrars compete for business based on price. Prices are based on the TLD (e.g. .shop, .uk), although some domain names will be marketed as “premium”. You will find that the country based TLDs are generally cheaper than the .com equivalent. ICANN are constantly licensing new TLDs and registrars often offer considerable discounts for the first year. Before signing up for a discounted domain, do check the full price. You may be tempted by a .shop domain for £2.50 but are you prepared for renewal at £40 per year?

Your registrar will provide you with all the tools you need to “wire up” to your website and email hosting. There is an advantage to using the same company for registration and hosting, if they will do the wiring for you automatically.

You can move the domain to another registrar provided you do it at least a month before the expiry date. Expect to purchase at least a further year from the new registrar on transfer and note that some registrars also charge for a transfer out..

Web hosting web hosting highlights. Nepeta use for web hosting

At its simplest, web hosting covers the space to store the files which make up your website and the infrastructure to display your website pages when requested. Modern web hosting will include database space for website platforms such as WordPress and a control panel to manage it all.

Most web hosting packages are more extensive. Things to look out for when choosing include:

  • Space – you should be looking for at least double the expected size of the website (plus space for emails if they are co-located). Remember that if you are using a platform such as WordPress, they store several versions of all media so they can serve out images that require minimal resizing by the browser. The extra space is so you can make a development copy, if you need to, or store a backup, as well as providing space for future expansion.
  • SSL provision (to make your site https) – a free Let’sEncrypt SSL should be sufficient for a simple site so make sure one is included. You will still have the option of purchasing an SSL should you require warranty
  • Backups – if your hosting does not include backups you will need to sort it out yourself. This will include finding or buying space to store the backup files.
  • Email hosting – if you are a one person business this can save you looking further. If you have a very busy website and have a lot of email traffic, separate hosting may be a better option. Remember that you do have to manage your emails and delete junk to make sure you don’t fill up all your available space.

Our Service

If you ask us to manage your domain for you, we will use the specialist registrar We are registered as resellers forJoker.

We will set up the domain with you as the owner and Nepeta as administrators on the account for you, Normally, we will manage renewals on your behalf and charge you for this alongside your hosting.

For web hosting, we use Clook. We find them very reliable and their support is excellent. Your website will have its own account within our reseller hosting . The hosting includes backups and a free SSL. Our hosting does not include email as standard but we can add this as an extra option.

Please note that these services are restricted to websites we have developed.